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Cable Alternatives That Can Free Up $1,000 in Your Budget

Originally posted on Every Dollar’s website here.

We Americans love our cable TV. We must, because according to Leichtman Research Group, we pay $103 a month on average for it.¹ That’s over $1,000 a year!

But cable isn’t the only way we can keep up with the news, watch our favorite sports team, or learn which stars are no longer dancing. There are options that cost much less and can free up over $1,000 in your budget to go toward something else—say, a Baby Step?

Check out these seven options for getting the same shows at a lower cost.

1. Netflix and Hulu ($8 per month for basic subscriptions)

Hulu and Netflix have become very popular because they let you see your favorite shows for a fraction of cable prices. The catch? Hulu still has commercials. But the upgraded, commercial-free version will cost you only $12. And if you want to watch Netflix on more than one device, you’ll have to upgrade to a Standard ($10) or Premium ($12) plan. Either way, you can sign up for one of these, pay a few bucks a month, and watch your shows on your schedule.

2. Amazon Prime Video ($9 per month)

Prime Video offers a wide selection of movies, TV series, and their own constantly growing original series. But if you’re a frequent Amazon shopper, consider getting Amazon Prime for $99 a year. A membership includes Prime Video and a pretty sweet perk: free two-day shipping on most products you order from Amazon. With the membership, you get Prime Video around $8.25 a month, plus all of the Amazon Prime extras. That can make this an even better deal.

3. Sling TV ($20 a month)

Sling TV costs less than a third of the average monthly American cable bill. For that reduced cost, you get 30 live channels instead of a few hundred. The cable package you have now probably has selections you didn’t even know existed, much less watch. Slimming down your selection while trimming your costs makes a lot of sense.

4. Roku or Chromecast ($30-35)

With one of these devices, an internet connection and a wireless modem, you get access to a huge library of films and video, several streaming movie services, and the ability to stream pro basketball and baseball games. Both Roku and Chromecast offer upgraded devices for a little extra cash. Regardless of which one you choose, there’s bound to be something that suits your fancy—the price certainly will.

5. HBO NOW, Showtime, Starz ($9-15 per month)

Whether you’re in the mood for a Hollywood blockbuster or you want to catch up with Tony Soprano, HBO, Showtime and Starz all have their own streaming services. It’s a stand-alone service, so you don’t need a subscription for it, but you can add them on to your Amazon Prime, Hulu, Roku, Sling, or Netflix accounts for an additional fee.

6. Online Network Channels (free)

Just about all the major networks, like ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox, allow you to view recently aired episodes of your favorite shows on their websites for a limited amount of time. Sure, you may have to watch ads, but it’s a lot less than the cost of satellite.

7. Library (free)

You may not know it, but you can check out TV shows from your local public library. If you’re willing to drive to the place where you pick them up—like we all used to do when we wanted to rent a movie from the video store—then this is a good alternative to paying for cable.

You can still get your news, sports, or can-you-believe-that-housewife-said-that-thing-about-that-other-housewife fix without spending so much for it. That’s a great way to give a jolt to your Baby Step progress, and it doesn’t stop with the television. There are tons of options to reduce your expenses by taking a closer look at your budget. When you take control of your spending and accomplish your financial goals even quicker than before, it will feel like your money situation will have a Hollywood ending.

That kind of stuff doesn’t happen just on TV.

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The Many Ways to Watch Television

You now have dozens of options, from antennas to new streaming services

By James K. Willcox

Originally posted on Consumer Reports website. See their article here.

It wasn’t too long ago that your options for catching favorite TV shows or movies at home were limited mainly to an antenna or a cable-TV package.

As you can see from the diagram below, that’s no longer the case. Today, you can watch many of the same shows and movies any number of ways, including from cable and satellite providers, various online services, and yes, even with a trusty antenna. Here’s a quick look at all the services clamoring for your attention—and dollars.

ILLUSTRATION: THE TOM AGENCY

Your Expanding Options

 

Online Cable Replacement

Services such as Sling TV and Hulu With Live TV compete directly with cable by offering live channels online for a monthly fee of around $20 to $40. But the choices can be limited. You can get a smattering of broadcast (such as ABC and NBC) and cable-type (Bravo, CNN, HGTV) channels. Premium channels (HBO, Showtime) may be on tap for an added fee. For more details, check out our article on cable-TV replacement services.

Single-Channel Websites, Apps

You can subscribe to some TV channels’ websites and apps to watch just their shows without signing up for a larger TV package. CBS, HBO, Showtime, and Starz all offer this option. Some channels have apps that let you watch their content only if you are already paying through a cable or satellite subscription.

Subscription Streaming

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and other smaller players charge a subscription fee, usually around $8 to $10 per month, for unlimited viewing of all their TV content and movies, including original shows such as Netflix’s “House of Cards.” Shows are delivered over the internet, so you can watch on a computer, smart TV, or mobile device.

Pay-per-View Services

Services such as iTunes and Vudu let you rent or buy single titles—a movie, one episode of a show, or a whole season. Amazon Video—the company’s pay-per-view service—offers this option, too. (Note, Amazon Prime members: Not all of Amazon’s content is included with your subscription.)

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Point Broadband Network Upgrade Complete in Colquitt GA

West Point, GA – Point Broadband, a fiber-fed, Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP), based in West Point, Georgia announced today that the massive network upgrade in Colquitt GA has been completed. Earlier this year, Point Broadband acquired certain assets of Turner Broadband and made a commitment to upgrade the network to the latest, state-of-the-art, fixed wireless broadband technology, providing fast and reliable internet service to the former Turner Broadband customers and new customers in the Bainbridge and Colquitt areas.

Point Broadband has replaced and installed new transmission equipment and has upgraded existing customers’ modems to deliver faster speeds and consistent service. “We are thrilled that many of the existing Colquitt customers are already converted to the new system,” said Point Broadband’s VP of Operations Jason Gauntt. “We are actively signing up new customers in the Colquitt area every day,” added Gauntt.

Point Broadband continues to show a strong community presence in Bainbridge and Colquitt. Reps for the company will be present at Franklin Spring Creek Ford on Monday, July 31st from 2:00 to 6:00 PM to take orders for new service and answer questions about how Point Broadband is connecting these communities. An additional event will take place in front of the Point Broadband store on Calhoun Street in Bainbridge on Tuesday, August 1st from 2:00 to 6:00 PM. Reps will also blitz the area in a door-to-door sales campaign through next week.

Point Broadband offers 10Mbps and 20Mbps service for residential and business customers ranging from $69 to $99 per month, with a one-time, standard installation fee. Higher speed, customized service offerings are also available for homes and businesses.

Please contact Point Broadband Customer Support at 844-407-6468 if you have any questions regarding your current service, or to schedule an installation appointment for new service.

About Point Broadband

Point Broadband is headquartered in West Point, Georgia. We are a proud subsidiary of ITC Capital Partners, LLC. ITC has a century long history of providing innovative communication solutions to its customers, with a focus on serving the communities where its customers live. ITC has been successful building, owning and operating wireless networks and broadband businesses over many years.

We want to be more than just your Internet provider. We want to help customers connect friends and family, help businesses connect with more customers, and just simply make the world a better place. With no monthly usage data caps and no contracts, our customers have the flexibility to connect with anyone, anywhere, at any time.  (point-broadband.com)

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Contact:

Taylor Nipper – VP Marketing
(770) 680-0684
tnipper@point-broadband.com

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Point Broadband CEO Todd Holt Joins Cord-Cutter Movement & Saves $1,200 per year

Todd Holt, Point Broadband’s Chief Executive Officer, isn’t someone we’d refer to as “tech savvy.” You won’t find him on social media or snapchat (thankfully), but he is quite the sports fan and likes to stay up-to-date on his favorite teams. So once our Marketing Department caught wind that he “cut the cord” at his house, we were all intrigued. What was his experience like? And, if he could cut the cable cord…the rest of the world could, too.

We asked Todd a few questions about his experience with ditching satellite TV service  in favor of streaming apps. His responses are summarized below.

What cable/satellite service did Todd use previously?

Todd was a satellite TV subscriber and paid about $140/month for service. He had the typical satellite setup, with a receiver mounted outside the residence and multiple receivers connected to TVs in his house.

What Streaming/Subscription Service is Todd using now?

Todd selected DirecTV Now as his main subscription service. Unlike traditional satellite TV products, the DirecTV Now app delivers content over the internet. (Yippee – no more outages due to rain or weather!)

Some channels include: ESPN, ESPN2, Cartoon Network, USA, HGTV, Nickelodeon, AMC, A&E, Food Network, Bravo, History, E!, Fox News, CNN, FX, Comedy Central, Spike, FS1, TBS, Animal Planet, FXX, TNT, Disney Channel, Discovery, Lifetime, Nat Geo, SyFy, TLC and more. ABC, FOX and NBC are included as well, but only in select markets.

Is Todd using a specific device to stream DirecTV Now?

Yes, in addition to smart TVs, Todd is using the Apple TV system to stream the content directly to his televisions. Since he travels frequently, he can also connect to the DirecTV app from his iPhone, iPad, and PC, and he can also take his Apple TV with him on his trips if he so desired, and enjoy the same TV experience he has at his home – on the road!

Here’s a list of devices that are currently supported by DirecTV Now. DirecTV Now Compatible Devices.

Can he watch DirecTV Now outside the home?

YES! As long as he has a strong broadband internet connection (like Point Broadband), he can stream his shows anywhere using the DirecTV app.

Other over-the-top TV Apps like Netflix, Hulu, YouTubeTV, and Amazon Instant Video, are available on mobile devices, tablets, computers, etc. You can take your content with you anywhere, as long as that strong broadband connection is available.

You can’t do that with a cable or satellite TV bundle!

How much is Todd saving per year, just by ditching his satellite TV package?

Todd is saving about $102 per month, just by eliminating his pricey, satellite TV bundle. That’s a little over $1,200 per year! Yes, that’s right…over $1000 just by ditching that satellite dish.

Was it easy?

When Todd says it’s easy, it must be easy. These over-the-top apps are very intuitive and easy to set up. Even someone that does not have a technical background can set them up and begin streaming shows.  

#PoweredbyPoint

We hope you enjoy the brand new world of Cord-Cutting, and we are so glad that Point Broadband can help you cut the cord with our fast, reliable internet.

5 Streaming Services Every Beginner Cord Cutter Should Be Using

By: Laura Smoots

Not sure where to begin now that you’re considering cutting the cable/satellite cord? Point Broadband has you covered. These are a few streaming services that will get you started in your new streaming life. And, don’t forget one of the most attractive features of streaming services….you can watch shows anytime, anywhere, wherever you have a good, reliable internet connection.

Netflix

Netflix has been around the longest with a vast library of TV shows, movies, documentaries, children’s movies and programs, and original series. Starting as low as $7.99 a month with one standard definition stream and $9.99 for two concurrent HD streams, this service is a favorite among cord cutters. You can even stream Ultra 4k content for as low as $11.99/month. There’s something for everyone here!

Want to get started? Click here to make sure your device is Netflix compatible: Netflix Compatible Devices.

Amazon Prime Instant Video

Most folks already enjoy Amazon Prime 2-day shipping option, which also includes access to their Amazon Prime Instant Video library and service. Amazon Instant Video provides it’s members access to original hit series, some HBO content, plus many TV and movie options. If options are not available as part of the Instant Video membership, members can easily rent or buy the option to add them to their library and watch instantly. 

You can purchase Amazon Prime Instant Video for $99/year as part of their annual fee (which also includes the two-day shipping!), or $10.99 monthly Amazon Prime account (also includes two-day shipping!), or $8.99/month for just streaming video service.

Ready to get started (and do a little shopping)? Click here to check out these Amazon Prime packages. And to make sure your device is Amazon Instant Video compatible, click here: Amazon Instant Video Compatible Devices.

Hulu

Starting at just $7.99 per month, Hulu has grown to a very receptive audience of cord cutters that enjoy network TV on-demand, without the hefty DVR and cable package fees. You can even bump up your subscription to the $11.99 package to cut commercials. Interested in Hulu, commercial free, with Showtime? That’s just over $20/month. Many of the shows are available the day after they air on these popular networks: ABC, NBC, Fox, and the CW.

Hulu is even starting to get into original content with several cool shows that debuted in 2016 and even more slated for later this year in 2017. While it’s not nearly where HBO and Netflix are with the popularity of their original series, they are definitely in the ballpark and slowly offering more critically-acclaimed content for their subscribers.

Ready to start a Hulu subscription? There’s even a 30-day free trial for new subscribers. Click here to make sure your device is Hulu compatible: Hulu Compatible Devices.

DirecTV Now

It’s not what you think. DirecTV Now is different from its predecessor, the satellite service, DirecTV. Do you want satellite or dish content without the hassle of  dish installation or an aggravating outage due to weather? Well, thankfully DirecTV Now is available to meet that need. Starting at just $35/month you will receive channels such as: ESPN, Cartoon Network, USA, HGTV, Nickelodeon, AMC, A&E, Food Network, Bravo, History, E!, CNN, FX, Comedy Central, Spike, FS1, TBS, Animal Planet, FXX, TNT, Disney Channel, Discovery, Lifetime, Nat Geo, SyFy, TLC and more. ABC, FOX and NBC are included as well, but only in select markets.

Other DirecTV Now plans range from $40-$70 per month with a no-contracts policy. It’s easier than ever to test out this service with a 7-day free trial. One thing to keep in mind is that DirecTV Now live-streams TV show broadcasts, so there is no playback option. If you’re tied to a DVR or TiVo service, this may be a slight adjustment.

DirecTV Now is available via a streaming app and subscription to service. Here’s a list of devices that are currently supported by DirecTV Now. DirecTV Now Compatible Devices.

Sling TV

Sling TV is also new to the scene offering smaller bundles of affordable and popular cable channels at a much reduced price. And, for those cord cutters that want to catch the big game, this service will fit the bill most of the time. These bundles cost anywhere from $20 to $40 and offer channels such as ESPN, AMC, CNN, HGTV, Disney, and many more. SlingTV, like DirecTV Now, is a live TV stream. For the DVR fans out there, there are rumors that a “Cloud DVR” option will soon be available to all Sling subscribers. Right now, Sling TV’s Cloud DVR option is only available on Apple TV.

You can try Sling TV free for 7 days! Sling TV is available via a streaming app and subscription to service. Here’s a list of devices that are currently supported by Sling TV. Sling TV Compatible Devices.

#PoweredbyPoint

We hope you enjoy the brand new world of Cord-Cutting, and we are so glad that Point Broadband can help you cut the cord with our fast, reliable internet.

Stay Tuned

Have you heard of YouTubeTV? This service is very popular with cord-cutters. We’ll publish a full blog post about this exciting streaming service in the next few weeks.

 

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